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Does remote working really work?

June 8, 2012 at 7:33 am PST

Enabling staff to work remotely and under their own steam has untold benefits, but are they all good for business?

According to BT research, remote workers are actually more productive than their office-bound counterparts. They save time on commuting, have fewer interruptions and often work longer (if different, hours). Remote working also reduces spontaneous absenteeism.

Equipped for the job

80% of UK’s workforce are information workers and require little more than a telephone and network connection, which means they can work almost anywhere, anytime.

For any business, the most important thing to enable remote working is having the right network infrastructure in place. Reliable, fast and secure transfer of data is essential within a normal office environment. Take it outside to multiple unmonitored locations and it becomes vital.

Cisco have been developing collaboration technology to embrace the growing demand for remote working, providing a range of solutions for every situation. Once deemed as only a concern for larger organisations, we believe it is now an issue that could affect companies of all kinds and sizes.

London 2012 will fuel demand for remote working

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Cisco Takes Next Steps Toward High-Intensity Collaboration

At Enterprise Connect in March, we announced a number of collaboration innovations, including a new telepresence concept called high-intensity collaboration. High-intensity collaboration describes a meeting environment where people can interact with content in ways not previously possible during a telepresence meeting, while still maintaining the highest degree of visual immersion. These features include the ability to annotate on content, move content to any of the three main screens, share content from multiple sources, and whiteboarding on the big screens (future software development).

In March, we unveiled the Cisco TelePresence TX9000 Series, our next-generation, fully immersive room-based system.  At the time, we previewed new features, with a promise that high-intensity collaboration would be fully realized over the next 18-24 months. With the soon-to-be released TX 6.0 software update, we’re about to deliver on some of these exciting new capabilities across the TX9000 and TX1300 product lines, our triple-screen and single-screen immersive systems, respectively.

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Interoperability + Collaboration = The Key to Any or All

Today’s work environment – yours, mine, and everyone else’s — is becoming more mobile, social, visual, and virtual. And there is no one magical tool that covers every situation.  We need choice and flexibility for the way we each work.

Any-to-Any collaboration with an easy-to-use consistent experience is the reality of today’s user requirements. However, many solutions available today are brought together with the use of band aids and chewing gum, making it a nightmare to troubleshoot across the various stitched-together call-control systems. Read More »

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Cisco Extends TelePresence to Rugged and Remote Locations

Not so long ago, OJ Winge unveiled Cisco’s mission to ensure the “Power of In-Person” experience to everyone and high-quality, lifelike video would be delivered to all users and environments in any organization.

Cisco continues to enable and extend telepresense throughout organizations worldwide for any environment. Our latest technologies – the new VX Tactical endpoint, ISDN Link and ISDN Gateway – allow telepresence more deployment flexibility in new locations regardless of environment or connection options.

Cisco TelePresence VX TacticalThe new Cisco TelePresence VX Tactical is a ruggedized mobile endpoint built for “in-person” conversations with other members of their team no matter where they are in the world. Portable and ruggedized, the VX Tactical offers the benefits of mobility through a hard case-style form factor that is ideal for use in military, emergency response, oil and gas, and construction environments where field work is often required. The VX Tactical features a high-impact plastic shell with an aluminum interior frame to provide structural strength, and is designed to be water-, sand-, chemical- and corrosive-resistant. It can be used virtually anywhere – in a Humvee, tank, fire truck, even on an oil rig – so that, anywhere you can get an Internet connection whether it be IP, Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G or satellite, you have TelePresence with you.

Speaking of flexible connections, there are many areas of the world where ISDN is the only option, or where connection to external networks such as V.35 is required. For example, small branch offices of banks located in smaller cities across the globe may only have ISDN connectivity, which previously limited customers’ choices in the telepresence endpoints they could select.  This has kept many of our customers on the MXP platform – but with the new Cisco TelePresence ISDN Link, a  compact appliance that provides ISDN and external network connectivity, our customers can upgrade to our latest products: Cisco TelePresence EX, MX, SX and C Series endpoints. The ISDN Link is a great companion product to the VX Tactical, which is often deployed in remote locations where ISDN is the only connection option.

While the ISDN Link is used for ISDN connectivity with one or two endpoints,  the new ISDN Gateway would act as a network resource for ISDN connectivity for multiple endpoints. ISDN Gateway completes the connectivity for customers with a dispersed network. The ISDN Gateway products support all Cisco TelePresence endpoints to enable a collaborative and secure ISDN network for a HD telepresence solution no matter where the customer is located in the world.

So no matter whom you want to talk to, where they reside, whether they use IP or ISDN, you will be able to connect in seconds and experience HD video.  The solutions continue to support new use cases as we continue to build out our telepresence technology that brings people together anywhere, anytime.

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For IT Strategy Think BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

At Citrix Synergy 2012, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion, “Beyond BYOD to Work Anywhere with Virtual Workspaces”.  Fellow panelists included Simon Bramfitt, Principal Analyst at Entelechy Associates, and Jeroen Van De Kam, CTO at Login Consultants.

Two key themes came up repeatedly:  the need to keep BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in perspective and the role of the business and the users. 

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